Scaling up the use of fodder shrubs in central Kenya

Fodder shrubs provide great potential for increasing the income of smallholder dairy farmers. Following successful on-station and on-farm trials and considerable farmer-to-farmer dissemination in Embu District, Kenya, a project was initiated to introduce fodder shrubs to farmers across seven districts. Over a two-year period, a dissemination facilitator working through field-based partners assisted 150 farmer groups comprising 2600 farmers to establish 250 nurseries. Farmers planted an average of about 400 shrubs each. The experience has confirmed that successful scaling up requires much more than transferring seed and knowledge about a new practice; it involves building partnerships with a range of stakeholders, ensuring the appropriateness of the practice and farmers' interest in it, assisting local communities to be effective in mobilising local and external resources, and ensuring the effective participation of farmer groups and other stakeholders in testing, disseminating, monitoring, and evaluating the practice. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Agroforestry: Scaling Up the Impacts of Research